Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, caught on camera in the post-Europa League quarter-final match chat with the Copenhagen captain Zeca, heaped praise on his Manchester United matchwinner Bruno Fernandes, and joked that he only gets “angry” when he brings him off.
The Portugal player scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot as United managed to edge out a determined Danish side in extra-time of their Europa League quarter-final tie in Cologne on Monday evening as he fired home from the penalty spot after Anthony Martial went down in the penalty area in the first half of extra-time, with the spot-kick leaving the goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson with no chance.
Johnsson was otherwise flawless in a match where the Danes did often have to rely on their Copenhagen goalkeeper to frustrate United throughout the evening, and their performance did win some plaudits, not least from Solskjaer himself, who was a former Norway teammate of Copenhagen coach Stale Solbakken.
The United boss approached Zeca and Fernandes as they chatted post-match and it was evident the Danish captain has a soft spot for United judging by the conversation he had with Solskjaer, which was picked up by the camera microphones in the empty stadium.
The chat in full went:
Zeca: “Thank you very much for everything you have done in Manchester United.”
Solskjaer: “Oh, we are trying to get it back. We’re trying. He’s helping [gestures to Fernandes].
Zeca: “He’s an amazing player.”
Solskjaer: “This boy is helping! He’s a little bit angry when I take him off.”
Zeca: “I was a little bit angry that you didn’t take him [sign him] before.”
Solskjaer: “He was giving you the ball all the time!”
Zeca: “Even though Sporting is my team.”
Solskjaer: “You can get his shirt maybe. Thank you. Well done, all the best.”
Zeca: “All the best. Take care.”
Solskjaer: “Look after Stale!”
United will be facing either Wolves or Sevilla in the Europa League semi-finals on Sunday evening.